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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Jaguar Effigy Vessels : Guanacaste-Nicoya Jaguar Effigy Vessel
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Guanacaste-Nicoya Jaguar Effigy Vessel - PF.3721
Origin: Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica
Circa: 1000 AD to 1550 AD
Dimensions: 11" (27.9cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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This beautiful vessel, made out of a reddish clay body under a creamy-white slip, intrigues the viewer with its intensity as well as its beauty. The orange-red and black painting attracts the eye to the immaculate detail with which the artist created this piece. While the head has distinctive jaguar characteristics, it also seems to embody human characteristics that are expressed through the eyes. This large pear-shaped jar stands on hollow rattle tripod legs, two of which are modeled to represent a jaguar's hind legs. A third leg in the form of a tail is at the rear. Two short hollow forelegs loop out from the sides with paws resting on the hind legs. The face of the jaguar has been done with great care and precision, with a lace like representation around its neck. The repetitive elements in the decoration emphasize floral and geometric motifs; yet exemplify the late Nicoya polychromes with precision and grace. Though the basic shape of the vessel is very simple, the artist has taken it upon himself to create a unique piece of art that would have given pleasure then and continues to transcend time with its beauty. - (PF.3721)


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